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Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if his Department will include a question identifying sexuality in the next census. (75967)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell dated 12 June 2006:

As National Statistician and Registrar General for England and Wales I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking if the Office for National Statistics will include a question identifying sexuality in the next Census. (75967)

There are concerns about the quality and usefulness of the data that can be collected with a self-completion questionnaire such as is used in the Census. ONS recognise the strong user demand for information on sexual orientation and the need for information to be collected however.

Confirmation of the questions that are to be included in the 2011 Census will follow the consultation and testing programme, and formal approval is given by Parliament in 2010. A White Paper setting out the Government's proposals is scheduled to be published in autumn 2008.